There are many things that go into making a church, or any ministry, run. There are systems, curriculum, equipment, and sometimes even a building. None of these things are worth anything without you. I think of all the times in volunteer or vocational ministry that I have felt worthless or that I wasn’t really making a difference. How often have you felt like that where you are involved? Are you involved in any ministry of your home church?
I want to share with you an excerpt from the book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible (affiliate link—Kindle. Here’s the print version for the rest of you). This book is a HIGHLY recommended read for anyone who is a follower of Christ. The book recounts Joshua’s impossible prayer that resulted in the sun stopping in the sky, allowing Israel to destroy their enemies. Author, Pastor Steven Furtick, and lead pastor of Elevation Church, suggests that this type of prayer and faith should not be the exception… but the norm. Challenging and inspiring!
You see, every weekend thousands of people show up at Elevation. Hundreds of them are first-time guests. And many give their lives to Christ. This happens after we sing songs and I preach a message. So it stands to reason that the music and the sermon led to their salvation experience, right? It’s not quite that simple.
Ultimately, Jesus saves people through the Holy Spirit. But he does it through much broader means than only what happens up on the platform.
There’s the person who stepped out of her comfort zone to invite the guest to come to church with her. There are the parking lot attendants in orange vests waving batons and smiling, helping the visitor to find a parking spot, making him feel at ease. At the entryways and doors, there is an unusually happy army of greeters, all expressing the same sentiment: This church is the place to be … The visitor’s anticipation starts to build, whether he admits it or not. He realizes, These people seem happy to be here. They seem happy I’m here. Maybe there’s something to this Jesus thing after all.
There are the ushers, escorts, youth ministers … I can’t even keep track of all the roles, and I’m the pastor. But no matter what the specific job description, every single person I’ve described is a connector to the current of the power of Christ.
Before the first note is ever played for our first-time guest (let’s call him Will), production volunteers have been up for hours, transforming the rented high school auditorium where we meet into a habitation for the presence of God. The guy who pulled the trailer at 4:30 a.m. and the girl who set up the cameras—they are connectors to the current of the power of Christ.
By the time I open my mouth to start the sermon, Christ has already been preached. When Will raises his hand to receive Christ after attending for three months, he may say that the songs and the sermons changed his life. But the real miracle happened outside the service, with hundreds of ordinary people doing ordinary things with extraordinary passion for the glory of God.
No act of service is insignificant when done for the most significant purpose in the universe: proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. When you see yourself as a connector to the current of the power of Christ, everything you do takes on meaning. Ordinary and audacity cannot coexist. They are diametrically opposed and mutually exclusive. You’re not just a normal Christian who is just a volunteer. You’re not just a church member or just an employee. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you’re a connector to the current of the power of Christ. You are a servant of the Most High God.
-Sun Stand Still, page 52 | Steven Furtick
The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Pastor Steven Furtick, Elevation Church, or Sun Stand Still Ministries.
I want to introduce a new topic of conversation that I hope you will engage in at ResourceTheChurch.com… You. The mission of RtC, is to resource the church to tell the story. Who better is there to equip and encourage than the people who are the church.
What do you do to grow as a follower of Christ? Who are the leaders who influence you? Let the conversation begin!